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  #361  
Old 22 Mar 2012
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And the striking thing about DTH's posting above relating to the German hostage is that the hostage was taken in Northern Nigeria but the demands are coming from AQIM. We have speculated about links with N.Nigeria and AQIM before on the STH forum.
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  #362  
Old 23 Mar 2012
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Agreed Richard.

I read a report about the Brit and Italian recently killed in the hostage raid. The authorities said they had been held captive in Burkina Faso and Niger as well as northern Nigeria. I wonder if that was with the aid of AQIM and using their safe houses.
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  #363  
Old 25 Mar 2012
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Angry AQIM or just bandits?

BBC News - Egypt army desert patrol 'lost' near Sudan border
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  #364  
Old 25 Mar 2012
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Or just displaying customary organisational skills... ?
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  #365  
Old 26 Mar 2012
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Army doesnt have a sat phone?
AQIM was never operational east of Algeria afaik.
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  #366  
Old 27 Mar 2012
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Here are a few more details on the Nigeria kidnapping of the German in January - see DTH's postings earlier:

German kidnap - Nigeria detains 5 Qaedas | News24

Mauritanian citizen linked to AQIM is involved. My fear is of an AQIM axis running from Mauri to Nigeria across the southern Sahara. It is a ridiculously wide net with pretty negative consequences for travel.
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  #367  
Old 28 Mar 2012
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AQIM video by YouTube with a statement from the captured German in german and english:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-PUtKAwazY

Greetings

Ulrich
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  #368  
Old 3 Apr 2012
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This is a decisive moment

The North have fallen into the hands of touareg rebels. The last city to fall was Timbuktu, which was taken by MNLA yesterday, the Malian flag lowered and the Azawad hoisted.
Then they were chased out to the airport by Iyad Ag Ghaly and Ansar Din, who replaced the flag with their own black islamist cloth.
Like Gao the town has been looted by militia men and civilians. Today three of the main Aqmi leaders, Abou Zéid, Mokhtar Ben Mokhtar and Yahya Abou Al-Hammam met with Ag Ghaly at the army camp.
While MNLA reportedly has surrounded the city and put an ultimatum to Ag Ghaly to disarm, or be disarmed. According to Maurice Freund, MNLA will have the support of Mauretania. Still, he didn't sound too optimistic.

The outcome of this will to a great extent determine the future of travel in the region.

Mali: trois des principaux chefs d'Aqmi � Tombouctou
Toumast Press | L’info du peuple Tamasheq vue par des Tamasheq
Mouvement National de Liberation de l'Azawad
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  #369  
Old 3 Apr 2012
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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Mali junta defies deadline for handing over power | News by Country | Reuters

"A military source said rebels on Tuesday pushed further to the town of Douentza - at the southern extremity of the Azawad territory they see as rightfully theirs. While the source said the regular army was posted outside the regional centre of Mopti to prevent them going any further, one junior officer said on condition of anonymity that some soldiers there were already taking off their uniform".

If MNLA are pushing towards Douentza, they're not far from Sevare/Mopti - lets hope none of the AQIM bunch follow. Bad times for Mali, fingers crossed.
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  #370  
Old 5 Apr 2012
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MNLA stops military action

Yesterday evening MNLA announced on its website Mouvement National de Liberation de l'Azawad to stop all military action as of today (midnight). They seem to have reached the limits, and more or less hold control of the region they consider Azawad territory.
Which leaves them to deal with the Ansar Al-Din and AQIM guys in Timbuktu.


Le MNLA annonce la fin des opérations militaires | L'Afrique en chemin
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  #371  
Old 5 Apr 2012
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There is too much desinformation going at the moment, most of it from journalists who should know better, about the connections between AQIM and touaregs, calling touaregs jihadists and drug smugglers, or "armed thugs of Qadhafi" at the moment.
Reuter's journalist in Bamako wrote of "the highway between Gao and Kidal" which makes one realize how little these people know of the territory and the peoples they are covering. And so, they are relaying the propaganda they have been spoonfed for years by the Mali government. Perhaps that will come to a halt now, as some in the west are realizing that this is a moment to counterattack the spread of jihadism. And so, France Juppé are planning intervention with Mauretania, and Africom with Mauretania/Burkina as we speak.

According to those who know, Ansar al-Din, the islamists of Iyad Ag Ghaly number at most 400. Then there are the other fractions of Aqim and the newly started MUJWA comprised of mostly Mauretanians and Malians.
But the MNLA are around 4000.
How it will pan out, who knows.

Gains of Mali's Tuareg rebels appear permanent, analysts say - latimes.com
MNLA have taken the territory and Keenan says that Mali is now permanently partitioned, so that is that then. Remains for them to keep good their promise of going after AQIM next.
Debat Moussa Ag Assarid sur France 24 - 4 Avril 2012 - YouTube
http://africanarguments.org/2012/04/...ce-whitehouse/
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  #372  
Old 5 Apr 2012
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British hotel owners evacuated Timbuktu

British couple who own Timbuktu hostel forced to flee Mali after Al-Qaeda fighters overthrow country's government | Mail Online

Probably the last westerners to leave town, they were escorted out since threat of being kidnapped was acute. They bought the hotel Alafia in 2010.

Boogie man Iyad Ag Ghaly has introduced sharia in town and is reportedly chopping off hands off looters as we speak.
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  #373  
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Algeria says diplomats abducted in northern Mali | News by Country | Reuters

More Information:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Mid...#axzz1rBOO2Vjn

Last edited by Dave The Hat; 5 Apr 2012 at 17:08.
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  #374  
Old 6 Apr 2012
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I wonder what the flag looks like??

Azawad independance is declared:-
Mali rebels declare ‘Azawad’ independence - FT.com

Sure makes things complicated when the legit government has undergone a coup.
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  #375  
Old 6 Apr 2012
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Very recent video taken in Timbuktu since islamists arrived......annoying advert at the beginning!

Mali Islamists strengthen hold on Timbuktu
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